Transcend is one of the leading innovators of storage devices in the world. We’ve seen a handful of their offerings and was able to review some. And it is really good to see that they are not stopping in being one of the companies leading the innovation in the said segment.
We’ve seen Transcend offerings such as the JetFlash 850Swhich is a small flash drive that packs quite a punch with its read and write speeds. Surely, they still have more offerings in their labs that will make an impact in the market. But for now, let’s appreciate two of their latest offerings that landed in our hands, the M.2 SSD (MTS820) and M.2 Enclosure Kit (TS-CM80S).
M.2 SSDs, as we all know, are small in size and that is why they are usually used as internal storage for SFF desktop builds and especially in thin laptops like ultrabooks. While it is suggestible to use M.2 SSDs in these kinds applications, there is but another application for it; as an external drive. And this is what we’ll check out with the help of Transcend’s MTS820 and TS-CM80S.
But first, let’s check out what’s up with the two before we take them out for a spin in our test scenarios.
The MTS820 and TS-CM80S exude a familiar Transcend packaging vibe. Both of the boxes are donning Transend’s red and white color scheme, with the products’ glam shots and unique features at the front. At the back are the products’ specifications that one needs to know about. Also seen at the back are the package contents for the TS-CM80S, while installation procedure is what you’ll find at the back of MTS820’s box.
Contents and Design:
The one having more contents that should be discussed would be the M.2 Enclosure Kit (TS-CM80S). Well, simply because the M.2 SSD (MTS820) only has itself, a quickstart guide, and warranty papers in its box.
The inclusions of the M.2 Enclosure Kit that should be in the package are the M.2 adapter (inside the enclossure), M.2 enclosure, Type-C to Type-A USB Cable (45cm), mounting screws, screwdriver, copper nut, metal plate and aluminum sticker. Everything that you’ll need to install an M.2 SSD in it is included, so installation should be pretty straightforward from this point on.
Moving on to design, there is nothing unusual about the MTS820 that needs pointing out. Out of the box, it’s a ready-to-use, no frills bare M.2 SSD. On the other hand, the TS-CM80S dons a unibody entirely made of aluminum which has the Transcend name and logo elegantly printed at the lower part.
As we’ve mentioned and shown, installation would be easy as all the necessary tools are included in the package of the M.2 Enclosure Kit. You’ll just need an M.2 SSD to go with the Enclosure Kit. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 2280, 2260 or 2242, because Transcend’s TS-CM80S is compatible with most M.2 SSD form factors.
To start with the installation, first, take the M.2 adapter from the enclosure and insert the M.2 SSD in its proper slot. Then, attach the copper nut on the M.2 SSD’s far end and screw it down tight. Now, slide the finished M.2 adapter into the enclosure and seal it with the metal plate, two screws and aluminum sticker. Take note that the led indicator is located at the bottom right, so the metal plate and aluminum sticker’s tiny holes should be aligned with it.
Tests and what we think:
To test the performance of our finished M.2 external drive, and try to produce near real usage results, we’ll use and transfer large uncompressed files from our own storage and game library. We do this simply because it’s what you guys would do once you have one. But before that, we’ll run a couple of synthetic benchmarks just to set our expectations. Below are the results of our synthetic benchmarks. We ran each benchmark software a couple of times with just seconds of interval from each run. The last run is what we extract as result, because the last run is when the device is nearly stressed.
Clearly, the scores that it got are almost similar. But, synthetics are just synthetics and we won’t use these applications on a daily basis. So, the test that will have more weight is our own set of tests which includes transferring of a near 42GB game folder, a PDF collection which is about 20GB and a folder that has random files which garners about 15GB.
We record, and list as a result, the time it takes to transfer each of the folders to the TS-CM80S. The 15GB folder transfer clocks in at 6 minutes and 21 seconds, 10 minutes and 8 seconds for the 20GB folder, and 14 minutes and 52 seconds for the 42GB folder. Moving it from the TS-CM80S to our main drive told a different story, flushing the 15GB folder for just 4 minutes and 50 seconds. The 20GB folder got burst out of the TS-CM80S at just 6 minutes and 8 seconds and the 42GB folder clocked in at 10 minutes and 30 seconds.
Both the TS-CM80S and MTS820 have proven that great things come in small package and that they work well together. However, if you already have an M.2 SSD lying around and you want to repurpose it as a handy on-the-go drive, you need not look any further, because Transcend’s TS-CM80S is the one you need to breathe new life into your pale looking M.2 SSD.
The TS-CM80S retails around 47 USD. It offers USB 3.1 technology and is compatible with almost every M.2 SSD form factors.